Hello SOTGC community,
As a new contributor to SOTGC, I took another look at the mission statement, “to help women transcend barriers to success.” It made me ask, what lessons had I learned by attempting to overcome barriers, and what was the biggest barrier I had faced?
It’s funny how these times of reflection often come with surprising results.
So let’s see, where should I start? Well, I guess I was pretty lucky in the parents department. They always created an atmosphere of curiosity, which to this day is an important part of my life. I liked to think that a good mix of curiosity and self-worth was all you needed to truly be successful, but I have come to realize that you need to sprinkle in a whole lot of compassion to be successful AND happy. I believe my parents were key to many of my “ah ha” moments through the years, including this one. Yep, I have to admit, I was pretty lucky in the parents department.
As for my career path, I’ve had some interesting adventures and missteps, including getting jobs I loved that didn’t pay well and jobs I hated that paid a lot. I’ve been laid off and I’ve worked in a barn (and the job didn’t involve farm animals, but that’s a story for another time), but none of these situations provided my largest barrier.
It turns out, my biggest barrier was giving up my status as an equal breadwinner in my household when I started my own business. Go figure.
My husband and I were both excited about me starting my own business, and we decided to take the leap. The next thing I know, I’m apologizing five times a day and feeling guilty every time I spend money on anything, even groceries. Silly right? But I couldn’t help it, I had always contributed financially, and deep down I felt that if push came to shove, I could take care of myself. But now, I somehow felt “less than,” and even though my husband was completely supportive, it didn’t matter, I still felt bad.
I realized that I needed to let go and embrace the fact that we were a team, emotionally and financially, and that I WAS contributing, just not in the way I was used to.
I guess I just needed to get out of my own way. But hey, easier said than done.
It took me almost a year, but I’ve stopped apologizing. I’ve stopped measuring our contributions as if we’re comparing apples to apples. I came to realize that there is so much more to life than keeping tabs, especially when you don’t even understand how the point system works.
So how did I do it? I started to practice being mindful and in the moment. I started really looking at everything going on in my life and finding all of the wonderful ways that both my husband and I were contributing to our family and our future. I look at my family now and I see a team, each with our own skills and abilities, each with different contributions, but each equally important.
So there it was: My greatest barrier turned out to be me. And once I got out of my own way, the road was wide open.
Are you ready to break down some personal barriers and make a movement towards mindfulness? If so please share this post on your social media channels or with friends and help spread the message.